To NATIVITY or not to NATIVITY?
For once; I don’t have a strong opinion. I am a little torn. So, school nativities -what do we think about them really, really?
We have Christmas scripts for schools on our catalogue and one is called Carry On: A Nativity but it is a spin on the traditional telling of the story. It is a play within a play. A teacher leads the rehearsal for the nativity play with all of the usual issues that arise. So the story is told but in the familiar setting of school.
I was tempted this year to pen a straight, traditional nativity script – I thought again. It’s not really ‘us’ and it’s not really necessary – there are plenty of them around but ours is a nativity with a difference. We were asked by a teacher friend for a Christmas script that could be performed in a church – we don’t have one. Is it bad that we don’t have a Christmas script suitable for a Church performance?
Anyway, my question is: Should we see the end of the traditional nativity in primary schools?
I don’t know.
Are we indoctrinating future generations by making them dress up as sheep, wrap tinsel round their heads and act out a nativity? I did it. I was an Angel on many occasions and I don’t think it has influenced me one way or another. I like the idea of children knowing the many options available to them, making informed decisions about their faith and spirituality. I just don’t know how offensive a school play can really be?
I have actually come to really value the school nativity AND the carol service in the church and anything else that makes me nostalgic and emotional. I love hearing children singing in groups and these are great opportunities for this to happen. For me, it marks the beginning of Christmas and I love it.
Is it really unwise for schools to choose a traditional nativity? Are they alienating pupils and parents? That is obviously something to be avoided. Perhaps it is better to choose a Christmas themed play? Answers on a Christmassy postcard please.
Ultimately, you can’t please all of the people all of the time, I suppose. I’m just glad I am not the decision maker in a school!
Angela and Andrew Scullin started Lucky Bucket Productions when they realised there is a shortage of good material for young performers, now they provide schools and theatre groups across the country with original shows for performance.